We began the week with our School Council leading an assembly to share news from their latest meeting. Our Year 7 and 8 School Council representatives work hard to consult pupils across all age groups to gather suggestions and ideas for discussion at their regular School Council meetings. Pupils are also involved in helping to develop new initiatives and reporting back to the school community. The children were delighted to hear reports about a number of discussion items – ranging from more frequent use of ‘Tom’s Garden’ for outdoor learning, to the choices of magazine subscriptions in our school library, and finally to increase the frequency of ‘hot puddings’ on our winter menus.
Year 2 News
Continuing with this culinary theme, this week in the after-school activity ‘Come Dine with me’, the Year 2 children made mini-Pizzas – which looked absolutely delicious, as you can see from the photos. They enjoyed working on their cutting skills and tasting different toppings. At the end, they had a vote on which topping was their favourite and ‘ham’ won hands down.
Number Day 2022 – It’s maths but not as you know it!
Pre Prep were delighted to be supporting the NSPCC by taking part in Number Day on Thursday. Pupils enjoyed ‘Dressing up for Digits’ and a day of rewarding and interactive Maths activities. By raising money to support the NSPCC, we can help to fund their vital services such as Childline – the helpline which is always there for children and young people whatever their problem or concern. Number Day also proved to be an excellent way to make Maths even more fun, helping the pupils to develop a positive mindset when facing mathematical challenges.
News From Foundation
This week, Foundation have been finding out about Chinese New Year. Children across all three classes were able to see at first hand a Chinese Lion puppet, shared by one of their fellow pupils, with the explanation that the words on the lion’s tongue meant it would bring ‘wealth and treasure into the home’. Pupils have also tried eating noodles with chopsticks, have made beautiful Chinese Lanterns, and practised their own Lion Dance. During our NSPCC Number Day, pupils also used the traditional story of the Lunar New Year animal race to learn about ordinal numbers.
Pre Prep Hobgoblin Theatre Company Visit – The Greatest Fairy Story Ever Told
Staying with the Pre Prep, the pupils ended the week with a very exciting visit from Hobgoblin Theatre Company. The vibrant performance took pupils on an exciting, fast-paced adventure through many much loved fairytales. As the Evil Queen tried to alter fairy tale history, only The Three Little Pigs and Snow White could save the day. So many characters, so many stories and a fantastic way to end the week!
This also gives me an opportunity to remind Pre Prep parents that on Friday 11th February we are inviting Pre Prep pupils to come to school dressed as a favourite book character. We are looking forward to seeing a range of interesting and imaginative costumes.
Life Education Visit
The ‘Life Bus’ is part of Cambridge PSHCE services (Personal Social Health and Citizenship Education) which visits the school every two years. Every child from Foundation to Year 6 is able to use this opportunity to explore the topics of making choices in life and peer influence, with teacher-led sessions drawing them into example decision making scenarios. Due to restrictions this year there is no actual ‘bus’ parked on site. However, the pupils will be making use of specially provided resources on our ‘Project Deck’ during their sessions.
Today FCAH had a special treat meeting up with Louise and Harold the giraffe from Life Education. They explored the human body and how they can take care of it. They certainly had lots of ideas to help Harold when he was feeling sad and loved talking to him on the telephone.
Year 6 have been exploring physical and emotional needs and reflecting upon healthy friendships. Through drama they looked in detail at the role of bystanders in bullying situations and the need to be active, either by stepping in or stepping away and getting help.
The children were encouraged to reflect upon their own personal ‘Network of Support’ – people and organisations to whom they can turn for help.
We were delighted to be able to share the work of Life Education with Pre Prep parents and governors this morning. There is another session on Teams next Friday for parents of children in Years 3-6.
Year 7 English
Over the past few weeks, Year 7 pupils have been studying the poetry of Seamus Heaney, an Irish poet and playwright, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995. Pupils have been learning to annotate poems in detail, and analysing themes, structure and style. For one homework task, they were asked to illustrate the poem they had studied in class, called ‘Blackberry-Picking’, using graphics of their choice.
They then designed and arranged their work into a display for their notice board. Everyone who visits the classroom is now enjoying the artistic and creative talents of Year 7!
Year 8 Visit to Castle Fine Art Gallery
Continuing with an artistic theme, on Tuesday the 1st of February, the Year 8 Art Group had an inspiring opportunity to visit the Castle Fine Art Gallery in the Grand Arcade, in order to study a range of modern and contemporary art pieces. You can find out more about what the pupils discovered from a pupil report on the following link.
In the Classrooms
The Year 3 pupils have been learning about and building some impressive weather vanes in Geography this week, and I also joined Year 4 pupils in English, who were studying the use of the passive voice and connectives in their writing. Our Year 6 children have been busy exploring the life of Christopher Columbus in History, whilst in French, pupils have been expanding their use of vocabulary to describe family members. Meanwhile Year 7 pupils have been widening their knowledge of Latin verbs and practising their translation skills.
There are several pupil productions being rehearsed ahead of forthcoming performances, hopefully in front of parent audiences. Year 4 are assembling their props and costumes ready for the Panto on 25th February. Elsewhere, music from ‘Matilda’ can be heard in Ashburton Hall as Year 6 rehearse their songs and dances. Meanwhile our Year 8 pupils have to wait until May to perform ‘Sister Act Jr.’ but it is already taking shape, with Tuesday afternoon rehearsals having a distinct 1970’s theme. We have some exciting events to look forward to in the coming weeks and months.
It has been a busy sporting week and I very much enjoyed meeting some of our Year 3 parent spectators at the inter-house netball tournament, which was keenly contested and clearly good fun for all participants. Congratulations to Newton House who were crowned the overall winners with Latham, Bentley and Chaucer all coming joint second. The full report of the tournament be found in the index of this newsletter.
There have also been a number of fixtures this week with some impressive results:
The U13 boys’ hockey team attended the IAPS Hockey Regionals at Culford this week. After coming top in their pool, the team were victorious against Framlingham College in the quarter-finals. Disappointingly, they lost in the semi-finals to Gresham’s and, to make it through to the national finals, they needed a win in the play-off for third place. Playing Beeston Hall, a last minute goal gave the St Faith’s team a win and qualification for the nationals. Congratulations to the boys and their coaches on their much deserved excellent achievement.
This Sunday our Under 11 and Under 13 gymnasts are taking part in a regional event at Chelmsford Gymnastics Club, so we wish them every success.
I am delighted to report that as part of our gradual ‘unlocking’ of school events, I have been working with the St Faith’s Parents’ Association (SFPA) to introduce year group parent coffee mornings, with three coffee mornings planned to take place during second half of this term. These coffee mornings will be held in Tom’s Garden after school drop off and we will start with gatherings for parents from Year 8, followed by Foundation and then Year 3. For further details of dates and times, please see the separate mailing from the SFPA. Returning to our School Council agenda, while I cannot promise that ‘hot puddings’ will be on offer at our coffee mornings, but there will certainly be welcome servings of hot tea and coffee, and I very much look forward to seeing you there.
With all best wishes for an enjoyable weekend,
Dr Crispin Hyde-Dunn